BRUSSELS, Sept. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the European Commission announced the seven shortlisted cities for the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 competition (presented in alphabetical order): Bordeaux (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Dublin (Ireland), Florence (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Palma (Spain), Valencia (Spain). The finalist cities were selected from a total of 30 applications from across 16 countries.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative, currently financed under the COSME Programme. It is built on the successful experience of the Preparatory Action proposed by the European Parliament and implemented by the European Commission in 2019 and 2020. It aims to promote smart tourism in the EU, foster innovative, sustainable and inclusive tourism development, as well as spread and facilitate the exchange of best practices. This EU initiative recognises outstanding achievements by cities as tourism destinations in four categories: Accessibility, Sustainability, Digitalisation as well as Cultural heritage and creativity. The competition was open to cities across both the EU, as well as the non-EU countries that take part in the COSME programme.
The competition has a proven track record of success. The 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism is the third edition of the competition. Gothenburg and Málaga were selected as the winners of the 2020 European Capitals of Smart Tourism competition, while Helsinki and Lyon won the inaugural competition and jointly held the titles of 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism.
The two winning cities will benefit from communication and branding support throughout 2022. This will include a promotional video, a purpose-built hashtag sculpture to install in a prominent location, diverse promotional activities and visibility at the EU level.
The winning cities will be awarded in November 2021.
In the first stage of the competition, an independent panel of experts evaluated the applications. All finalist cities demonstrated excellence across the four competition categories combined.
In the second stage, representatives of the seven finalist cities will present their candidatures and the programme of activities planned for 2022 in front of the European Jury. The European Jury will meet in the coming weeks and select two cities to become European Capitals of Smart Tourism in 2022.
The selection of the most innovative projects, ideas and initiatives, submitted by cities in previous years’ competitions can be found in the Compendium of Best Practices, the go-to guide to smart tourism in the EU.